Research Objectives and Approaches: The objective of this research is to acquire a state-of-the-art electron-beam lithography (EBL) system critical for fabrication and investigation of nano-structures. The approach is to use the EBL system to define nanoscale features in cutting-edge interdisciplinary research in nano-photonics, electronics and sensing. The instrument will be an integral part of the unique Nano-Fabrication and Processing (NF&P) facility at the University of Arizona for the exploration of nano-structured components and systems.
Intellectual Merit: The EBL system will be essential in realizing the state-of-the-art research in silicon photonics and integration of optics with electronics and software on silicon chips. The feature sizes for the silicon photonic chips are reaching sub-50 nm that would be reliably supported by the EBL system. This research would also be instrumental in the NSF Engineering Research Center on Integrated Access Networks (CIAN) and will be useful to researchers from other partner universities within CIAN. Furthermore, the requested system will enable a wide range of novel opportunities in nano-scale R&D, providing a unique capability especially for the young faculty and students with innovative thinking.
Broader Impacts: Advances in nano-technology is revolutionizing the fields of information technology, alternative energy, environmental sciences, healthcare, and homeland security. The EBL will be an essential tool in the education and training of students in nano-science and technology. Also, faculty and researchers associated with the minority serving schools that are partnered with CIAN ERC including Norfolk State University and Tuskegee University will be able to take advantage of this facility.